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Halloween is upon us and under normal circumstances, we’d all be putting the finishing touches on our kids’ costumes so they dazzle when it comes time for door-to-door trick-or-treating. Sadly, Halloween 2020 is a whole other beast.

Per the CDC guidelines, traditional trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity due to the ongoing pandemic, and even compromises like “one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance” fall into the moderate risk category. Fear not, Halloween has not been canceled—we’re just going to have to adapt a bit. (Hey, what else is new?)

The solution this year is to celebrate Fright Night with family or get together with a trusted pod for a holiday party that floats every kid’s boat without the undue risk. Here are 30 spooktacular Halloween games for kids to get the party started (and throw those little ones a bone).

RELATED: 24 HALLOWEEN COSTUMES EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY CAN GET IN ON

There’s Just One Mommy

1. Candy Corn Toothpick Towers

Turn Halloween candy into a tool for enrichment with an entertaining STEM game that promises to put kids’ engineering skills to the test. Children compete to build the tallest structure using only pumpkin candies and toothpicks—just be sure to have a timer handy, because once a tower has been completed, it has to stand tall for at least 30 seconds. Young party goers will get a kick out of this exciting challenge and parents will appreciate the opportunity to postpone the inevitable sugar rush (for a little while at least).

Get the tutorial

Happiness is Homemade

2. Halloween Charades

This printable game of charades features festive and kid-friendly prompts (“carving a pumpkin” and “eating candy”) that are easy enough to invite participation from even the youngest guests. Simply print and cut out the playing cards and let the goofy entertainment begin. Best of all, this classic game promises to keep a group of kids quiet for a spell, so we suggest you bust it out when things start to get a touch too rowdy.

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Amazon

3. The Haunted Mansion Board Game

Haunted houses can be intense, especially for the under ten set, but kids six and up can get a milder introduction to the Halloween tradition with this haunted mansion board game. The rules of this family-friendly game are straightforward and the play is plenty engaging—just keep in mind that this one can only accommodate up to four players, so it is best-suited for a holiday gathering where only a few little ghouls and goblins are present.

$25 at Amazon

Happiness is Homemade

4. Halloween Bingo

Another classic game that comes in free, printable form, these bingo cards boast cute Halloween pictures that the preschool crowd can easily identify. It may not be the spookiest game on the list, but this old standby will come in handy when the kids at the party need to regroup with a low-key activity.

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Kid Friendly Things To Do

5. Spider Race Game

Any kind of race is bound to be immensely popular with the more energetic guests at the party, but running indoors can be problematic, to say the least. The solution? Satisfy the young competitive spirit with an exciting spider race, instead. A little pre-party crafting is required, but you might be grateful for the kid-friendly project when you’re wrestling with the rest of the decorations.

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Amazon

6. Halloween Darts Game

Is there anything scarier than children armed with darts? Nope, which is exactly why you should set the kiddies up with this game at your Halloween party. Kidding! There are no sharp instruments in this darts game. In fact, there aren’t any darts at all. Nevertheless, kids will have a blast launching these small hook-and-loop balls at the dart board, and parents can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there’s no risk of property damage or physical injury involved.

$14 at Amazon

Kid Friendly Things to Do

7. Marshmallow Ghosts on a String Game

This entertaining Halloween game is sort of like bobbing for apples, but the prize is sweeter and the process is far more sanitary. The gist of it is that a bunch of marshmallows are strung from a witchy broomstick and kids compete to eat the spooky treat in its entirety without allowing it to fall on the floor, which is especially difficult because hands must remain behind backs. The adults holding the broomstick can make the game even harder by lifting and swaying it, but either way the game is fun for all ages and the spectacle is truly hilarious.

Get the tutorial

Chicken Babies

8. Ping Pong Eyeball Bounce

This game of hand-eye-coordination is like a kid-friendly, booze-free version of beer pong, but with an easier target—a trick-or-treat basket takes the place of the red solo cup. It’s a cinch to set up this indoor activity—just clear a table and decorate a couple ping pong balls for a ghoulish effect—and the play requires enough skill to keep kids engaged for a good while.

Get the tutorial

Kid Friendly Things to Do

9. Pass the Skeleton Bone Race

Any child who’s old enough to get dressed independently can get in on this indoor-friendly race in which members of a team use a bone and a ball of yarn to weave themselves together. The team that uses the bone to complete the human chain first wins. Bottom line: This one is fast-paced, exciting and great for larger groups of kids.

Get the tutorial

Amazon

10. Pin the Spider on the Web Game

Pin the tail on the donkey is such a beloved event that it has been given a variety of makeovers to suit nearly every holiday and celebratory event...and Halloween is no exception. You can probably guess how this one goes: Blindfold a kid, spin him around and watch him fumble about as he tries to stick the spider in the center of its web. This tried-and-true party game is, as always, as much fun the player as it is for those watching while they wait their turn.

$10 at Amazon

halloween games for kids candy jar guessing game
Stuart Stevenson photography/Getty Images

11. Candy Jar Guessing Game

If you’re seeking a passive game that requires negligible prep work and no supervision whatsoever, the candy jar guessing game has got you covered. Commonly found at fairs and carnivals, this competition requires visual-spatial reasoning skills for a win. Fill a jar up with Halloween candy, put out a basket and some slips of paper, and by the end of the night, the child-genius of the bunch will have been identified. (Don’t worry, though—everyone else will be content to console themselves with candy corn in the end.)

Kid Friendly Things to Do

12. Skeleton Bone Dig

A game that involves digging up human remains is decidedly sinister, but in this case still appropriate for kids of all ages. In fact, the little ones will enjoy this one especially since this activity provides a stimulating sensory experience that pairs well with the thrill of discovery. Best of all, this one can be adapted to the needs of your young guests: Keep it lowkey and leisurely for the toddler crowd or set up separate buckets and split young players into teams for a fast-paced competition for slightly bigger kids.

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There’s Just One Mommy

13. Craft Stick Pumpkin Candy Catapult

Only a few basic materials—rubber bands, craft sticks and a hot glue gun—are needed to engineer these candy catapults, but the novelty factor is big. Seriously, any game that involves launching stuff into the air is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t believe us? Just try this one out and watch grown-up guests gather around like moths to the flame while the kids send stuff flying...hopefully not too far from the target.

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Kid-friendly Things to Do

14. Glow-In-the-Dark Pumpkin Ring Toss

The classic lawn game gets a festive twist thanks to the pumpkin and the spooky aesthetic that glow sticks provide—and let’s be honest, glow sticks have a special place in all of our hearts, right? The hardest part of setting this game up is finding a pumpkin with a substantial enough stem. (Hint: If the pickings are slim, you might want to plan ahead and pay a visit to a patch that allows you to cut your own from the vine.) Other than that, this party game is as low-maintenance as can be, and fun for all ages to boot.

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Simple Play Ideas

15. Pumpkin Memory Game

Score some basic supplies—orange and white paper plates, construction paper, a glue stick—and charge your child with the execution of this simple craft prior to the party. You’ll get a chance to tend to other things (like cocktails for the grown-ups), and your kid’s finished project will provide everything required for a rousing game of memory once the guests arrive. This one’s an all-around winner: Thoughtful and quiet, yet challenging enough to hold the attention of the not-so-easily entertained tweens in attendance

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Meaningful Mama

16. Popcorn Pumpkin Relay Race

Head outside for an action-packed party game that requires only edible provisions (popcorn) plus a scooped-out pumpkin. Stir-crazy kids can get their energy out running back and forth, carrying handfuls of popcorn from home base until they fill the gourd. This race can be enjoyed by as few as two young people, but bigger groups can team up for an even more exhilarating relay-style race.

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Activities for Kids

17. Halloween Egg Hunt

Yep, that’s right—egg hunts aren’t just for springtime celebrations. A preliminary art project is necessary to make this party game a little more seasonally appropriate: Paint at least a dozen eggs and add some spooky touches to each before tucking them away in secret hiding spots throughout your home, The end result? A creepy egg hunt that’s guaranteed to please young party goers.

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Simple Play Ideas

18. Halloween I Spy

Some kids are natural party animals, while others may need some time to warm up before diving into the more energetic activities. Do a shy kid (and their parents) a favor by printing out a stack of these ‘I Spy’ cards at your Halloween party. The introverts in the bunch will appreciate this quiet, yet entertaining activity, which can also function as an icebreaker when it attracts the attention of peers and turns into a group effort.

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The Best Ideas for Kids

19. Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are the bee’s knees, but the task can feel like a logistical nightmare at the end of a long day of party planning. Fortunately, you can spare yourself the hassle with this printable indoor scavenger hunt: The readymade clues are replete with Halloween themes and the mission is certain to engage kids of all ages (without having to worry about them straying too far).

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Delia Creates

20. Pumpkin Patch Stomp

Popping balloons is to children what popping champagne is to adults. This game consists of an inflated ‘pumpkin patch’ of candy-filled balloons and an open invitation to jump, stomp and body slam—whatever it takes to free the sweets. Pumpkin patch stomping boasts serious kid appeal and it’s also a great way to keep rambunctious kids from doing more serious damage indoors.

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Delia Creates

21. Ghost Toss

When kids are on the guest list, balloons may very well be the secret ingredient to a successful Halloween bash. Case in point, this exceedingly simple game that consists of keeping balloons up in the air for as long as possible. This winner will provide ample, active entertainment for tots and teens alike—and all you need to pull it off is a handful of white balloons and a Sharpie.

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Tried and True

22. Feed the Monster Game

Summon your inner crafter and fashion this cardboard box monster to spook the kids...and keep them occupied, of course. Young guests will really get a kick out of pitching eyeballs into the mouth of the hungry beast. Try this one out as a come-and-go activity or an organized competition with a candy prize.

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Tried and True

23. Halloween Cornhole Toss

If you’re a parent who plans on hosting a Halloween party, check out this creepy-crawly cornhole toss. The DIY project provides an ideal opportunity for parent-child bonding, since the straightforward craft comes together with kid-friendly materials. As for the finished product: This one does double-duty as a holiday decoration and a cornhole toss game that kids will be eager to try their hand at.

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My Mix of Six

24. Toilet Paper Mummy Race

Halloween: The special occasion when you take a break from telling the children in your life to stop wasting toilet paper and instead tell them to wrap themselves up in an entire roll of the stuff. Break the kids into teams and see which one can mummify their teammate first in this action-packed contest, Plus, this activity is much more savory than say, toilet papering the house of a peer.

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Chicken Babies

25. Spider’s Lair Obstacle Course Game

Beware the Spider’s Lair: One wrong move and an eight-legged insect might just tumble down and take you as its prey. This toilet paper obstacle course will inspire some seriously smooth moves. (Think Catherine Zeta-Jones’ laser-dodging gymnastics in Entrapment.) OK, maybe not—but even the clumsiest kid will have a blast and get a workout whilst attempting to navigate this web without doing damage to its delicate structure.

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Happy Go Lucky

26. Halloween Scattergories

Scattergories is a family game night staple so its appearance as a Halloween party game makes a lot of sense. This printable version of the classic includes plenty of spooky, holiday prompts, all of which are family-friendly—just make a timer and some pencils available and you’re good to go.

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The Benson Street

27. Halloween Don’t Eat Pete Game

At first glance, this printable game looks like Bingo, but the rules of play provide a lot in terms of intrigue. The premise of ‘Don’t Eat Pete’ is that one player goes in blind and starts pecking candies off the board, hoping to amass (or immediately eat) as many as possible before accidentally going for the square that was determined by the group to be...Pete! Funny and clever, this candy game dangles the proverbial carrot—prompting kids to read the poker faces in order to satisfy a sweet tooth.

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Pink Stripey Socks

28. Mixed Up Monster Art Game

Action-packed and competitive party games can easily go awry, especially when the young guests have stayed out past their bedtime and consumed a pound of candy. Fortunately, you can get the kid-crowd to wind down (while the grown-ups do the same) with a collaborative craft that guarantees a monster so ghastly, it’s guaranteed to inspire pride in every budding artist.

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Mas and pas

29. Ghostly Bowling Game

Bowling is undeniably wholesome and horribly entertaining—and when you slap some spooky ghost faces on white drinking cups and a tangerine you can also call it extra Halloween-y. The lightweight cups (i.e., pins) make for a game that’s easy enough for toddlers to manage without frustration, and the citrus stand-in for a bowling ball ensures no damage will be done during an indoor match. In other words, you’re winning before the game even begins.

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Fun at Home with Kids

30. Spooky Halloween Gelatin Hands

Part craft, part sensory play, this Halloween activity is sure to be a smash hit with the preschool crowd and below. Because, come on—who doesn’t love sinking their hands into wobbly, green gelatin?

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RELATED: 50 HALLOWEEN APPETIZERS THAT ARE EASY, IMPRESSIVE AND OH SO SEASONAL

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